‘Today’ Show Books First Rachel Dolezal Interview

Rachel Dolezal, the Washington state civil rights activist and NAACP leader who has been accused of misrepresenting her race, will give her first sought-after interview on “Today.”

NBC made the announcement Monday on the morning show’s Twitter that Dolezal will appear live in-studio on Tuesday, June 16.

Following her interview with Matt Lauer on “Today,” Dolezal will also give separate interviews with NBC News and MSNBC, sitting down with Savannah Guthrie on “NBC Nightly News” and Melissa Harris-Perry for MSNBC and NBCBLK, NBCNews.com’s African-American vertical.

Dolezal’s estranged parents appeared on “Today” Monday morning, explaining that they didn’t seek out their daughter, but rather, were approached by a newspaper. “Somehow, they got wind of us as her parents as a possibility and so they contacted us to see if we were in fact her parents,” her father Lawrence Dolezal said. “We taught our children, as we raised all six of them, ‘Tell the truth. Always be honest.’ So we weren’t going to lie, we told the truth. Rachel is our birth daughter.”

Her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, added, “I think Rachel has tried to damage her biological family and those kind of claims, as false as they were, seem to serve her purposes in her mind.”

Dolezal, who served as the NAACP chapter president in Spokane, resigned from her position today, stating, “The dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.” She broke the news of resigning on the chapter’s Facebook page, continuing, “In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.”

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